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SAP Workforce Planning: Understanding the Benefits of the Module

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It's become almost a cliché to say that a business's most important resource is its people. However, like most clichés, it is based upon a core truth. Businesses do rely on their personnel, and they do need to be able to manage, schedule, understand, and work with these human resources in order to achieve the best results for all stakeholders.

This is where SAP Workforce Planning can make all the difference. The Workforce Planning module – built upon the SAP Analytics Cloud enterprise planning and business intelligence structure – provides an online portal that teams can use to access and understand workforce data. Via the Workforce Planning dashboard, teams can utilise analytical and forecasting tools to gain a profound understanding of workforce capabilities and needs before taking the necessary action to optimise workforce scheduling and deployment for the future.

Benefits of SAP Workforce Planning

SAP Workforce Planning delivers a number of valuable advantages to businesses.

Strengthening Collaboration Between HR, Finance, and the Rest of the Business

With Workforce Planning, Human Resources data and finance data is handled together within one location, enabling direct operational integration between HR and finance departments. Immediately, collaboration is improved between these separate departments, and operations are made more efficient as a result.

When HR and finance data is processed, stored, and handled side by side, it becomes much easier to uncover and then act upon business-critical insights. For instance, the process of managing employee payroll, benefits, hiring requirements, and the financial cost of operating a workforce is streamlined, as teams have access to both financial and personnel data within the same module.

Empowerment for the Intelligent Enterprise

SAP Workforce Planning is designed to put businesses and the workforces at the confluence of the 'three rights' – the right people, the right place, and the right time. This concept is at the very heart of the SAP offering, demonstrating how an intelligent approach is better than an attritional one – drawing upon data to understand the workforce rather than expecting team members to run desperately from job to job as they cover all bases.

The SAP Workforce Planning solution builds upon the already powerful BI capabilities of the SAP Analytics Cloud on which it is based. With the Workforce Planning module, management personnel are able to analyse current workforce data and cross-reference this with future potential needs as new projects and initiatives are planned. This means businesses can forecast and plan for fluctuations in workforce supply and demand on an ongoing basis.

The idea is to empower the intelligent enterprise. Using SAP Workforce Planning, management teams recognise a specific need for personnel with a certain set of skills. Management can then identify this personnel within the workforce and assign them to the role. This means the right people are in the right place – two of the 'three rights' are aligned. Management personnel then draw upon this data to understand future scheduling requirements, arranging future work timelines to ensure that deployed teams are able to complete their current task before moving on to the next job – this adds the 'right time' component.

Identifying Potential Workforce Gaps

This idea of the right people in the right place at the right time suggests that workforce management is simply about reshuffling personnel and project timelines to reflect the company's resources. In an ideal world, perhaps, this is the case. However, in reality, this won't always be possible. There may be instances when the current workforce is simply unable to meet the demand placed upon it.

An online internal portal like SAP Workforce Planning helps businesses to understand this and work to mitigate its effects. By analysing and forecasting, organisations can recognise and identify potential gaps in the workforce ahead of time. This analysis and forecasting gives business owners time to assess the current capability and capacity of their teams and potentially onboard new hires or outsourced personnel to plug any gaps that may arise. We've already touched upon how Workforce Planning brings HR and finance operations together, but this is another example of how unified data allows these departments to work together in harmony.

Optimising the Workforce Mix in Line with Operational Targets

Working with outsourced personnel or in collaboration with partner workforces is common practice in modern business. It may not be feasible for organisations to bring in permanent hires to meet all of their operational needs or to provide the training and upskilling for highly specific requirements. In these cases, leveraging the capability and capacity of a third-party contractor can be highly beneficial.

But businesses need to tread carefully here. Managers need a complete understanding of the costs of bringing in outsourced or contingency personnel, as well as the benefits that this provides. The SAP Workforce Planning online portal makes it easy for schedulers and management teams to assess the current workforce mix and understand its cost. This enables your business to optimise workforce mix when strategising for future projects, bringing in outside assistance when required and expanding in-house team capacity where possible. 

Effective Communication and Collaboration

Communication and collaboration are two requirements for success in modern business. To put it simply, modern businesses have become so dynamic and complex that remote personnel and teams need to be on the same page, even if they are in different locations. This is especially true for global businesses that find themselves operating across international boundaries.

Authorised teams can access SAP Workforce Planning via the online portal, benefiting from real-time data insight relating to the workforce. This eliminates information bottlenecks and siloing. There is no need for a team operating in Paris, France, to request workforce scheduling data from a team in Canberra, ACT, and then wait until the next morning for a response. All the information and analytical tools are provided via the portal.

This also makes it easier to schedule collaborative work among distributed teams. Again, this comes back to the tenets of right people, right place, right time. SAP Workforce Planning expands this to cover multiple teams working together on collaborative projects, facilitating this with effective human resource management.

Improved Operational Agility

Perhaps the most important benefit of SAP Workforce Planning is agility.

  • Your business can identify scheduling needs and potential workforce gaps ahead of time and respond accordingly.
  • You can ensure that each project has the appropriate personnel assigned to it, drawing upon outsourced personnel when required.
  • All the data required to make strategic changes is at the fingertips of the management team.
  • The business can make these changes in real time, remaining flexible on project requirements and personnel deployment.
  • This flexibility is even possible on global collaborative projects.
  • The online portal ensures that everyone remains on the same page, supporting profound operational agility.

Experience the Benefits of SAP Workforce Planning First-Hand

The SAP Workforce Planning Module provides your business with the tools and understanding you need to optimise your personnel and your Human Resources. Reach out to our team today to learn more about the module and to discover how you can apply this solution.

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